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Finding solutions to the world’s most difficult problems

Without water, nothing else matters. Here's how we're helping.

Picture it: Texas in August. It’s 105 degrees. Despite your best efforts, your lawn died weeks ago. It’s way too hot to do anything outside. All you can do is hunker down in your air-conditioned home and wait for the heat to break. You have never been more grateful for the miracle of central air.

Now picture this: A power outage. No air conditioning. No relief. 

David Maidment, an Engineering professor at The University of Texas at Austin, knows that Texans want frank talk about the potential consequences of the state’s ongoing drought. Remember, water is necessary to cool power plants.

That’s why Maidment is working with public water officials, scientists and the Legislature to assess the state’s vulnerable situation and deliver reliable, accurate information about what’s in store for the coming summers.  Maidment's team is working in five impact areas: economic development, agricultural production, public water supply, electric power generation and ecological integrity with the idea of building better real-time water information and forecasting so as to support decision making in those areas.

“If a crisis does occur,” Maidment says, “our citizens will expect that our state’s water is being competently managed, and that the best science, data and tools that universities and industry have to offer are being applied to address the situation. They will be intolerant of confusion and lack of answers to reasonable questions.”


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Learn more about how UT Austin is Finding Solutions